CUPPING - רשת בתי קפה לנדוור

CUPPING

Cupping is a method of evaluating different characteristics of a particular coffee bean. The basic structure of flavors is depicted in the following chart. 

We speak of four foundation flavors when broaching the subject of Cupping: sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness.

 

The following is a professional depiction of coffee flavors brought up during professional coffee tastings:

 

Acidity  - a coffee’s sensory touch of the tongue. The higher pH levels are - a tinging sensation is felt. PH levels are determined by the type of coffee.

Aroma - The scent the coffee emits. The initial fragrance and flavor experienced when sipping the coffee. Often described as: fruity, nutty, floral, earthy, tobaccoy, ashy, baggy etc.

Body - The physical mouth feel and texture of a coffee. Full bodied coffees have a strong, creamy, and pleasant, mouth feel. Often described as: light, medium or full.

Flavor - the taste we are left with after neutralizing pH, aroma and body. Often described as: chocolaty, winey, sweet or sour. When describing flavor negatively we often use adjectives such as: rancid, rotten or bitter.

After Taste - The taste of brewed coffee vapors released after swallowing.

Complexity - The array of flavors and flavor shifts experienced when smelling and tasting a coffee.

Balancing - Achieved balance between pH levels and bitterness.

 

First quality control along the process is conducted in the country of origin of the bean. After being planted, cultivated, harvested, processed and sorted the bean is ready to embark on a long journey to the consumer. Green beans are packed in even batches that often undergo first inspection in order to ensure visual cohesion within smaller batches of approximately 300 grams. 

The next stage sees the tasting of the coffee by experts from the field of Cupping where the Brazilian Cupping Method is applied. In this method a tablespoon of lightly roasted and crudely ground beans are placed in a medium-size cup into which hot water is poured. A spoon is then used to remove the frothy surface, enabling the cuppers an initial sniff of the emitted aroma. 

The following is a professional depiction of coffee flavors brought up during professional coffee tastings:

Acidity
a coffee’s sensory touch of the tongue. The higher pH levels are - a tinging sensation is felt. PH levels are determined by the type of coffee.

Aroma
The scent the coffee emits. The initial fragrance and flavor experienced when sipping the coffee. Often described as: fruity, nutty, floral, earthy, tobaccoy, ashy, baggy etc.

Body
The physical mouth feel and texture of a coffee. Full bodied coffees have a strong, creamy, and pleasant, mouth feel. Often described as: light, medium or full.

Flavor
the taste we are left with after neutralizing pH, aroma and body. Often described as: chocolaty, winey, sweet or sour. When describing flavor negatively we often use adjectives such as: rancid, rotten or bitter.

After Taste
The taste of brewed coffee vapors released after swallowing.

Complexity
The array of flavors and flavor shifts experienced when smelling and tasting a coffee.

Balancing
Achieved balance between pH levels and bitterness.

After the coffee has settled and has slightly cooled down, the cuppers use a tablespoon to taste the coffee. They then spit out the coffee into a receptacle.
This process is conducted by buyers from countries importing coffee in order to evaluate the positive and negative characteristics of the coffee.


A true guarantee for meticulous inspections is can only be made by the senses, namely observing the effect the coffee has on the taste buds and the sense of smell. Coffee types under inspection muss originate from the same place, be of the same type and should have been processed similarly.


Professional coffee tasting incorporates all the senses. When cupping experts conduct tests on Espresso coffee they first observe the color and how even the Crema that rests upon the liquid is. In the next step they analyze the strength and characteristic of the aroma or of any potential flaw using their sense of smell. This is then followed by the actual tasting of the coffee in order to appraise the effect the coffee has on the tongue and how sweet, sour, astringent our bitter it is. The next step would be an analysis of the aromas that travel to the nostrils through the mouth. During the tasting the cuppers analyze and asses the characteristics of the body as well as the aftertaste, namely the taste of brewed coffee vapors released after swallowing.


In countries where espresso coffee is most popular, different cupping methods are applied in order to sieve out coffee beans of lower pH levels and select only the ones with a strong body and sweet, light aroma. The espresso Cupping has seen a growth in its importance in the high-quality coffee market, a fact that leads to new scientific discoveries and new sensory analytical methods.


This article was written by Asaf Rifs - licensed coffee instructor and a level 1+2 certified barista (SCAE - Speciality Coffee Association of Europe).